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Fraser's Scottish Annual
Leading Scottish Books of the Year


Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. By John Gibson Lockhart. In ten volumes. Toronto, George N. Morang & Co., Limited.

This princely work (see page 83), through the patriotic enterprise of the Canadian publishers, George N. Morang & Co., Limited, Toronto, is brought within the range of Canadian book buyers. It is a magnificent work, and an undertaking of magnitude to place it on the Canadian market. It may be said that not until now has the life- story of Scott been done justice to, as have the lives of Thackeray, Dickens, Parkman, and other stars of no greater magnitude in the literary firmament. Of course, Lockhart's life of Scott has always been one of the best of biographies, a work in which the author will live immortal. But hitherto the artist and the commentator could not have done their full share. In this edition, limited to one hundred copies for Canada, illustrations are furnished which are beautiful works of art, and notes and explanations are supplied from sources until recently unavailable. New light is cast on the great novelist and poet by these researches, while the illustrations, forming, as they do, a gallery of portraits of some of the most distinguished men and women of Scotland, England and America of Scott's day, are of themselves a worthy monument to Scott and worth the price of the book. There are reproductions from the most famous portraits of Scott, of members of his family, of his haunts and residences, of Edinburgh, Abbotsford, Ashestiel, Lasswade cottage, and of Scottish abbeys; of members of the publishing firms who published his books, such as James Ballantyne, Robert Cadell, Archibald Constable, James Murray; of James Hogg, Alexander Adam, Henry Cockburn, John Gibson Lockhart, Charles Mackay, Lord Byron, Sir William Forbes, Washington Irving, Miss Ferrier, Rev. George Crabbe, William Wordsworth, Francis Jeffrey, Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe and others. The notes have been drawn from Scott's "Familiar Letters'> and "Journal;" " Life and Letters of Lockhart," by Andrew Lang; MSS. of Lady Louisa Stuart; Mrs. Oliphant's "William Blackwood and His Sons," "Memoir of John Murray," "Archibald Constable and His Literary Correspondents," etc., etc. The text is printed from new plates on a very fine antique laid paper, deckle edges, specially manufactured for this fine edition. The binding is of two kinds—English Buckram, paper labels, uncut, deckle edges; and three-quarter French levant, hand-bound and tooled, gilt top, deckle edges; or special bindings in fine French levant may be ordered.

Reverting to the value of the Notes, an interesting example may be quoted from Vol. I., page 130: "By the way, before Ivanhoe made its appearance, I had myself been formally admitted to the author's secret; but had he favored me with no such confidence, it would have been impossible for me to doubt that I had been present some months before at the conversation which suggested, and indeed supplied all the materials of one of its most amusing chapters. I allude to that in which our Saxon terms for animals in the field, and our Norman equivalents for them as they appear on the table, and so on, are explained and commented on. All this Scott owed to the after-dinner talk one day in Castle Street of his old friend Mr. William Clerk, who, among other elegant pursuits, has cultivated the science of philology very deeply." The accompanying note is as follows:
It is said that the character of Rebecca was suggested to Scott by Washington Irving's description of Rebecca Gratz, of Philadelphia, a lady belonging to a Jewish family of high position in that city, with whom Irving was intimate. Miss Gratz had been a friend of his betrothed, Matilda Hoffman, and in her youth had loved devotedly a man in every way worthy of her, but the difference of religion made their union impossible. During a conversation with Scott, Irving spoke with much feeling of Rebecca Gratz, of her extraordinary beauty, of her adherence to her faith under most trying circumstances, of her nobility, distinction, and loveliness of character, and her untiring zeal in works of charity, greatly interesting his host, as the guest recalled when "Ivanhoe" appeared.

Rebecca Gratz died in 1869 in her eighty- ninth year. A sketch of her, with a portrait after a miniature by Malbone, was published in the Century Magazine for September, 1882.

The appearance of this great edition is opportune. A decided revival of interest in Sir Walter Scott has set in. It is not suggested by this statement that there has been any waning of interest in his novels, which have kept their strong hold over the reading public; but during the last few years there has been an awakening in the study of Scott's personality and of the scenes and episodes in his romantic career. Students of his life have risen from among the readers of his works, and the demand for everything connected with the famous "Wizard" has been increasing. It is a good sign of the times, an evidence that the great masters will never be cast aside, but will perennially command the admiration of a cultured public. Among the great masters none was greater than Scott. Here is the estimate of a keen, broadminded writer: "To read Scott's novels is one of the recognized pleasures of life; a pleasure which the wise old world—which knows more than its teachers can tell it— will never be lectured into abandoning. But to read his biography, to read his letters, to read his journal, is to grow in love with earth because such a man has lived on it. Lockhart's proud and melancholy reserve had melted like a snowdrift under this genial influence; and to him more than to other men had come an intimate knowledge of Scott's sane and manly virtues, his kindness, his patience, his courage, his unostentatious acceptance of near duties, his absolute immaculate freedom from the literary sins of envy, jealousy and vanity."

No one who can afford it, certainly no Scot in Canada, should miss the opportunity of possessing a set of these volumes, worthy as to subject, artistic excellence and craftsmanship to be placed on the shelf alongside the finest specimens of the bookman's art.

The British Landlord: Part I. —This is the first part of a series of papers which have been prepared, and are in course of publication, by Norman Murray, 21 Beaver Hall Hill, Montreal. As to Mr. Murray's special fitness to write on this subject as he does from "a social, economic and political point of view," no doubt remains after a perusal of the first paper in the series now issued. Mr. Murray's knowledge of the British landlord is exhaustive, his knowledge of the Highland laird is practical; he has endured in person. He has read deeply the literature of his subject, and has obtained an easy mastery over the fundamental principles of economics and of social and agricultural problems. Occasionally somewhat extreme in expression, his statements generally are fairly open to verification and his arguments lose nothing from the vigor with which they are urged. Mr. Murray's object is to show why the British landlord should be entirely abolished—in England, Ireland and Scotland. He does not object to private ownership, but to lords of the land, as he probably would to lords of labor. He advocates that the people be given freeholds; that the owner should not only be the occupier but also the cultivator of the soil he holds, and in this position Mr. Murray may surely claim the sympathy of all thoughtful students of land economics. No student of social reform can afford to overlook the land question—it is at the root of the food question and of harmful monopoly. The value of Mr. Murray's essays lies not altogether in that he has a clear view of this truth, but that he buttresses his position by examples as vivid as they are convincing; hence his pages are not an abstruse statement, but a story bristling with incidents and facts of thrilling power. The landlord is pilloried, but it would be entirely inadequate to characterize the "Broadside" as a mere denunciation of landlordism. Root principles are taken hold of which, if developed and projected into the realm of living fact, would revolutionize and bless modern life. Mr. Murray is a patriot—a sane, far-seeing patriot—who has enough of the make-up of the prophet and martyr to be ahead of his age, but he is no Jeremiah. His manner of attack, and his fearlessness—which might probably be tempered a little to advantage—are not likely to attract friends to him, and his case is too good, his vision too clear, his work too valuable for him to be left as "the voice of one crying in the wilderness." It is only by association with his fellows, by organization and concerted effort, wisely as well as vigorously directed, that an impression can be made on wrongs in this materialistic, selfish age. Be that as it may, Mr. Murray is doing work that some day will bear fruit. More power to his elbow. Nahnile la dha.

Lady Nairne's Songs.—A little volume which all lovers of Scottish song ought to be grateful for is a new edition of "Lady Nairne and Her Songs," by Rev. George Henderson, M.A., B.D., the minister of Monzie, published for 21 by Alexander Gardner, Paisley. Lady Nairne's life-story, as well as her songs, will always maintain a strong hold on the popular heart, and few Scottish authors more richly deserve to be studied and known. The authoress of "The Land o' the Leal" was born in 1766 at Gask House, Perthshire. Her father was Lawrence Oliphant (referred to as the "Auld Laird "), who died in 1792. Her mother was a daughter of Robertson of Strowan. When in her forty-first year, a long betrothal happily culminated in her marriage with her second cousin, Major Nairne, afterwards Lord Nairne, but long before then she had composed many of her celebrated songs. She shrank from publicity, and by strict adherence to a nom de plume she was able to preserve anonymity practically during her lifetime. Hence it was that "The Land o' the Leal" could have been credited to another, and it was no small compliment that Burns only was deemed to have been gifted enough to compose so perfect a song; and the critics, and at least one publisher, included it in his work. It is supposed that Lady Nairne was influenced by the genius of Burns, who was only a few years earlier than herself in the field. Indeed, he was at the height of his fame in 1793 when she composed her first poem. She forms a link in the poetic chain between Burns and Hogg and Sir Walter Scott. Her best known songs were inspired by the Jacobite sentiment so deeply rooted in her family, but her sympathies embraced whatever she believed to be good and true, and the Covenanters. of Scotland had no more fervid; admirer, a fact she has proved in more than one song. She was a pious, cultured, and benevolent lady of the olden time—typically Scottish, yet not narrowly so in any respect. She impressed her genius on her own generation, and her thoughts, expressed in her exquisite songs, do their work in our time in mellowing the mind and inspiring the heart of true lovers of their kind.

Canada, My Home.—At one time the note struck by the Scottish settlers was wistful and sad. The sacred associations of the old home clung to them with a deadening weight, and it required all their faith and courage to face hopefully the hardships of pioneer life. The verses they composed and the letters they wrote were pervaded by this spirit.

"From the dim sheiling on the misty island
Mountains divide us and a waste of seas
But yet our hearts are true, our hearts are Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides."

But a new note soon appeared. The bush gave way to the clearing, the clearing to the broad cultivated meadow, the log shack to the frame or brick dwelling, and as the country emerged the muse rose on soaring pinion, radiant and proud.

"O Liberty, how sweet thou art!
My country thrills in every part
With thy true, living voice;
The famished poor, the trodden slave,
May come among the free and brave—
In Canada rejoice.

No land illumed by yonder sun,
Can more inspiring be than One
Where my far visions roam
O'er prairies wide, o'er mountains grand—
My love is thine, thou lavish land,
Dear Canada, my home."

These verses are from a poem entitled "Canada, My Home," by Grant Balfour, an Edinburgh man, who has made Canada his home and whose name is J. M. Grant. The poem is a good illustration of how devotedly attached Old Country people become to Canada after a few years' residence. The old land is still dear to the heart, but so is the new land. There is no feeling of isolation nor of separation; it is merely a change of place within the British Empire, and the lover of Canada shows no coldness to the Motherland. "Grant Balfour" has done service to Canada, of no small value, by the publication of this poem. It ranks among the very best on the subject, and they, naturally enough, are not few. Not only is the tone highly patriotic, the diction is felicitous and the spirit truly poetic—the quiet spirit of the contemplative poet—and the tribute is worthy of the country in whose honor it has been composed.

The author has wooed the muse to some account in other paths, and his efforts, one and all, stamp him as a thoughtful, cultured Scot, whose horizon is brightened by faith in the eternal verities, and who believes in conveying his own message to his fellow man in a quiet and kindly manner. His verses to the late Prof. Henry Calderwood will be found in this issue of this ANNUAL, and discloses the author's own sympathetic mind. He has also essayed prose, with marked success, two of his best known booklets being "The Mother of St. Nicholas," a charmingly told story, and "The Fairy School of Castle Frank," a child's story, the scene of which is laid near Toronto. Mr. Grant's talents are of no mean order and deserve encouragement from all who love the beautiful products of a cultivated mind.

Love Songs of Scotland.—The love songs of Scotland have formed the subject of many a prized collection, and there does not seem to be an end to the process. The material certainly is exhaustless, and the demand never-failing. I Consequently it comes to be a matter of judicious selection and good editing and printing. The collection before us has been made by Robert W. Douglas, and it has been published by McLeod & Allen, Toronto. It is printed on fine paper, beautifully bound in cream cloth boards, decorated, and is suitable for souvenir or library use. No better feeding has come our way for a long time, and it is not expensive.

The Kilt and How to Wear It, By the Hon. Stuart Ruadri Erskine. (Inverness: The Highland News. Toronto: The Scottish Canadian. Cloth, pp. 102. Price $1.00.) This brochure is the offspring of a genuine desire to uphold the Celtic dress—the national costume of Scotland—and the author deserves every encouragement in his patriotic undertaking. Were that more of Scotland's gentle and noble scions put their hands to such and similar effort. To the reader it may be said, that in this small volume the author gives more than he promises in the title. He gets down to more than one-half of his space before he takes up the Highland Dress. The preliminary chapters are devoted to comments on such subjects of absorbing interest to the Scotchman as "Gaidheal' and 'Gael"; "Concerning the Clans"; "Of the Highland Line or Boundary"; "Of Tartans"; "Of Clan Tartans"; "Of Hill Checks or Tartan." Then we came to the "Celtic Dress," and the details are described—the bonnet, the doublet, the big kilt and the little kilt, the hose, garters and brogues, the plaid, arms and ornaments. Highlanders not infrequently hold curious notions regarding the national costume, some of which this work will help remove, and there are keen observations throughout the book, which will be found useful to the student of the subjects dealt with; but to the average reader, the man or woman who has not read much about these subjects, and who knows less, a word of warning is necessary, and it is that this book cannot be accepted as conclusive authority on quite a number of points raised and dealt with. At the same time, the book merits extensive circulation because of its suggestiveness, the refreshing breeziness of its style, and the undoubted sincerity of the author. A few illustrations would not have come amiss, but, as it is, the reader will have more than his money's worth.

The Famous Scots Series.— This series of biographies of famous Scots still goes on, one of the latest being a brief "Life of Henry Drummond," by James Young Simpson. The publishers, Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, Edinburgh, supply them to the trade and to the reader at the remarkably low figure of 1/6 each; and surely no Scottish family should be without some of them. The list is most excellent, affording a wide range of choice. This Life of Dr. Drummond stands well alongside the larger one by Professor George A. Smith, and the very readable sketch by Cuthbert Lennox. New matter is included, but the book is not so much an attempt to furnish biographical detail as it is a broad study of the man, an estimate of his work. Of Drummond, as a man of science, Mr. Simpson happily hits the mark when he says: "He was not so much a biologist invading the world of religion, as a poet invading and capturing the world of science." "To his mind the azure of the heavens was as scientific as the precession of the equinoxes; the cellular structure of living things was as poetical as the greenness of the grass. He for one stood back, and sought the underlying unity of the natural and the spiritual." Drummond's three important journeys - with Geikie to North America; to Central Africa, described in "Tropical Africa"; and to the New Hebrides —are touched upon, and a summing up of his great books, in which he is ranked, is given in this volume, which, as a bright, readable production is a welcome addition to the Series.

It is not often that one comes across the observations and impressions of a lady octogenarian traveller, even in these days of prolific book-making. Mrs. A. J. Stocks resides in the "lang toon" of Kirkcaldy, and her story is of a journey therefrom across the Atlantic to New York, Niagara Falls, and across the Canadian continent to the mining camps of southern British Columbia, the date of starting being May, 1900. The object of her travels, at her time of life, was to visit relatives and see the new world where they lived, and the courage required for such an undertaking is apparent in her descriptions and comments throughout the narrative. The material she gathered for her diary, of which the book is practically a reproduction, and the information she gives are remarkably true. Canadians will be interested in the comparisons drawn and in the impressions made upon an intelligent observer by the people and institutions of this country. The route of travel is, of course, one which has been often the subject of description, but Mrs. Stocks' narrative is fresh, racy, and interesting, notwithstanding, and ought to be of special service to Scotchmen intending to visit Canada for pleasure or settlement. The book is published by the Fifeshire Advertiser, Kirkcaldy, where copies can be obtained on application.

Times of Retirement. By Rev. George Matheson, D.D. (Fleming H. Revell Co., Toronto. Cloth, pp. 301. $1.25 net. See page 84.) Perhaps nothing in the devotional literature of the day has equal charm to Dr. Matheson's writings. With a delightful style there is a warmth and a colouring which can only come from a mind like his— reflective, sweet by chastening, courageous, and brave - for the poet-preacher of Scotland has been blind since he was twenty years of age. His visions have been peculiarly introspective, and he translates himself on the printed page. This book is made up of very short meditations on a variety of subjects such as a devout mind would reflect upon for comfort and rest, in the intervals of peace from life's strenuous duties. They are based upon a Bible thought or sentence, but are not wrought out addresses or essays. The longest can be read in three or four minutes, and each in its way is a gem of purest thought set in beautiful language. The point of view is to appeal to the feelings of the heart through the understanding. "A man may have faith in what he does not understand, but he cannot have emotion in what he does not understand," is his own way of putting it, and therein lies an explanation of his attitude to the religious life. The book is prefaced by a biographical sketch, furnished by the Rev. D. Macmillan, M.A., editor of Saint Andrew, a Scottish Church periodical, which tells briefly the pathetic story of an eminently useful life.

The Twentieth Century New Testament, Part II.-(Fleming H. Revell Co., Toronto. Cloth, 50 cents.) The second part of this learned work well repays perusal. Taken with the Authorized Version the lover of the Holy Scriptures will find it very helpful indeed. The work does not seem to be designed to supersede the Authorized Version; its purpose is to give a free, rather than a literal, translation, yet faithful to the "true sense of the original Greek." Therein lies its value. As a companion to the translation by use and sacred by association, it is welcomed as a real boon to the careful reader of the New Testament. The language used is that of the present day— plain, simple, so as to be easily understood by young and old, learned or unlearned; in fact, to reach the understanding and hold the attention of all classes of readers.

The Curler's Annual, issued by the Ontario Curling Association, for this year, is a more than usually interesting production. It is the twenty-seventh volume, and the material for such a repository would seem to be increasing as time glides on. Mr. J. S. Russel, who retired from the post of secretary after an occupancy of more than twenty years, contributes many valuable reminiscences. Mr. Maclennan, one of the joint editors, is stirred to song, and gives away the "secret of curling" in verse as smooth as the ideal ice of a covered rink, and the moral in his last couplet deserves to be quoted:

"But it's only the man in a curler that counts,
And skill without that is nought."

Much interesting matter about the roarin' game is given which ought to please even the general reader, while the statements and reports will furnish a necessary record to the devotees of the game.

Culture and Restraint is a title which demands attention because of the great importance of these words when placed in juxtaposition. The question raised is, practically, the proper balance of the natural and the supernatural as agents in the right development of man. The field is as wide as it is important, for the whole conduct and belief of man is involved. Should moral considerations influence art? or should authors, artists, and teachers raise ideals free from any such consideration and based entirely on nature's untrammelled promptings? To harmonize the supposed discord between the culture and restraint of the individual is no easy matter, yet is one inviting the best powers of a man of culture. The Rev. Hugh Black essays the task in his "Culture and Restraint," and achieves a remarkable triumph. The names of the chapters indicate the scope of the work and the line of treatment. Some of them are: "Zion Against Greece," "The /Esthetic Ideal—Culture," "Culture as Religion," "The Perfect Man," "The Ascetic Ideal - Restraint," "Origin and Growth of Asceticism," "The Mediaval Treatment of Sainthood," "The Teaching of Jesus on Asceticism," "The Christian Solution," etc. It is unnecessary to add that the book displays the learning and persuasive eloquence for which Mr. Black is distinguished, and is a most welcome volume at the present time. (Fleming H. Revell Co., Toronto. $1.50 net. See page 84.)

Robert Urquhart is not a new book, but the revival of interest in it by the public falls to be chronicled. It is offered in handsome garb by Fleming H. Revell Co., Toronto, at a reduced price, and to those who love a good, high-class story—and who does not?—it will come as a welcome visitor. The story bristles with incident woven around a simple plot, and is natural and entertaining. Some of the staple character of Scottish maid and matron, of sturdy peasant and honest laird is worked in, and while nothing approaching the sensational taints the page, there is no want of movement nor of excitement. It is a good, healthy book, the reading of which ought to be interesting and instructive.

Professor McFadyen, of Knox College, has steadily made his way to the popular heart by the beauty and warmth of his devotional writings, as he has to the minds of the learned by his ripe scholarship. As an author he is always readable, nay, delightful, and his recent book, "The Divine Pursuit," published by the Fleming H. Revel! Co., Toronto (210 pp. Cloth, $1.25), will contribute to the sacred pleasure of every thoughtful reader. The book is a collection of brief meditations on incidents and texts of Scripture which have a direct application to daily life. The studies are never long, but are pithy and of a practical turn. To read one every morning might occupy ten minutes, but the reader could not fail of deriving tone and temper for the day's labour, which would be very helpful all day long in life's strenuous battle. The title is taken from one of the chapters which exemplifies God's constant care for man. The volume contains things worthy of Stalkers or Drummond's best.

Canadian Crystals.—This volume is a collection of poems by Thomas Watson, of Colborne, Ont., an author whose verse has been more or less familiar locally for some time, and will now be welcomed in book form. One noticeable thing about the collection is the great variety of theme which Mr. Watson essays, notable, anniversaries, clubs, events, institutions, places, persons, and papers, are poetized, apostrophized, and possibly immortalized, by his ever- ready muse. No small skill and power are disclosed in some of the poems, and everywhere a strong, healthy spirit pervades them. One of the best, "The Heather," is reproduced in this magazine (p. 70), from which the reader can form a fair estimate of Mr. Watson's verse. William Briggs, Toronto. Cloth, pp. 16o, price 75 cents.

Warwick of the Knobs, by John Uri Lloyd (W. J. Gage & Co., Toronto. Cloth, PP. 3o5, price $1.25), is one of the best books of the year. It is a story of Kentucky, and is to the manner born. The characters are not merely created, they represent and illustrate a people with local peculiarities of their time—the Civil War—as remarkable as any to be found in the rural sections of the back counties of any State or Province on the Continent. Warwick was a hard-shell of the old school proud, independent, upright - a local preacher and an indomitable patriot. His name and family were the apples of his eyes. His boys he gave to his country, and they fell as heroes should like to fall. The pathos of his life was touched through the misfortunes of his much-loved daughter, who was basely betrayed, and who is the heroine of the story. The author is a past-master of his art, and holds the reader from beginning to end wholly absorbed in the tale. The movement is rapid, and not a dull page in the book. The motive is wholesome, the aim high, the humour genial, and the scenes and characterization seem true to the life described. (See page 82.)

NOTES.

"Mac's and Their Books" is the title of an interesting announcement by William Briggs, Toronto, which will be found by the reader on page 82.

The two volumes of the correspondence which passed between the poet Burns and Mrs. Dunlopare offered by the Scottish Canadian, Toronto, for $2.50. The published price is $5.00.

Norman Murray, 21 Beaver Hall Hill, Montreal, is publishing a series of "Broadsides" showing why the British landlord must go. They are worth more than the price, which is only 5 cents each.


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